Monday, May 5, 2014

French property prices in 2014 - mixed views

There appears to be a mix of views of where French property prices are likely to go in 2014, although contrary to populist views in the British press of untold bargains to be had, French predictions are considerably less exciting.

According to the most recent report* I have read, Standard & Poors predict an average fall of 4% and two major French banks - Crédit Agricole and Credit Foncier - between 4 and 5 per cent. The French estate agents association FNAIM talk of 'not more than 4%' though agency chains predict a more modest drop in prices - Century-21 1.8%, Laforet less than 2% and Guy Hoquet between 0 and 2%.

Historically, there were average falls of 3% in 2008 and 7% in 2009, but average rises of 10 and occasionally 15 per cent were recorded in some French cities during 2010. According to Notaires de France, the average fall in 2013 was 1.7% overall.

Transactions are still down on the average 829 000 recorded annually in the boom years between 1999 and 2007, with a total 723 000 transactions recorded in 2013, 2.7% fewer than in 2012.

As always, price rises and falls depend on numerous factors, such as the age, condition and location of the property; and no two properties may be the same even within the same area, even the same street. It pays to keep an open mind and listen to the advice from professionals on the spot.